Welcome, one and all, to another Harry Potter fanfic by yours truly! This time, we explore a Godlike!Vampire!Harry, and his growth into the perfect heir of Dracula! Harold will have powers from such vampires as Alucard from Hellsing, Dracula from Bram Stoker's novel, and Rai from Noblesse. Please Read & Review!
The venerable Count Vlad III Dracula lay in a pool of his own blood, which was soaking into the red velvet-carpeted stairs leading up to his throne, his bone-white hair splayed around his head as he coughed weakly. A wooden stake was sticking out of his chest, having pierced his un-beating heart.
"My Lord..." came a whispered as out of the shadows crawled a very beautiful woman with long, black hair, and a heart-shaped face, wearing a long, blood-red dress. Three more women, looking identical to the first one, only wearing dresses of different colors, one black, one green, and the last one dark blue, came crawling out of the shadows, toward the dying Dracula.
"Curse those that foul Morris..." the black-dressed woman said, hissing in rage. "I wouldst tear his heart out..."
"My ladies..." Dracula coughed weakly, reaching up to stroke the green-dressed woman's cheek. "My vision darkens... I fear I shall not return from this final death..."
"Master?" the red-dressed woman said, blinking in shock. "What do you mean?"
"This was the final time, I fear..." Dracula mumbled. "My mind and body are destroyed now, completely... But my powers and my spirit live on. You shall find me in a new incarnation... Look for me... in my heir, the boy of lightning..."
With that, Dracula drew his final breath, slowly dissolving into dust, leaving the four identical women to cry over his ashes.
"This is it, Number Four, Privet Drive..." a woman wearing a long, flowing red dress said, standing next to an identical-looking woman wearing a blue dress. The blue-dressed woman clicked her teeth.
"Awfully neat, aren't they, these humans?" she asked as she looked over the lawn, which was perfectly mowed, and the car was spotless, not a speck of dust on it. Shrugging, the two made their way across the lawn and knocked on the door rather loudly, not caring that it was just after midnight.
The door opened, revealing a morbidly obese man with a walrus mustache, who looked newly awoken and was glaring heatedly at the two women.
"Whatever you're selling, I don't want it! Aren't you capable of telling the time, women?" he barked angrily, and the red-dressed woman smirked.
"Now, now, don't be like that," she purred, her thick, Romanian accent easily heard. "Wouldn't a gentleman invite two innocent women into his home on such a dark and dreary night?"
The fat man's eyes glazed over, and slowly he nodded, stepping to the side to allow the two women inside.
"Of course. Come on in..." he mumbled, and the two women smirked wider, stepping over the threshold.
"There's too much fat on him. No use wasting a bite on that," the red-dressed woman said. "Aleera, will you do the honors?"
"Of course, Verona," the blue-dressed woman, Aleera, said happily as she reached over to the fat man's head, and then promptly snapped his neck. The man crumpled to the ground with an audible thud. Verona chuckled as she heard noise coming from upstairs, including the cries of a child. She sniffed the air once, then looked to the cupboard under the stairs leading up to the second floor. She made a gesture with her hand.
"Aleera, go feast. I will find our new Lord."
Aleera gave a very childish giggle, then rushed up the stairs, surprisingly silent, as she looked to be taking very heavy steps. A scream was heard from upstairs, but it was quickly silenced, and Verona moved over to the cupboard, opening it to show a baby laying in a very old crib, which looked like it could barely even hold itself up. The baby had a tuft of raven black hair, and a pair of stunning, blood-red eyes, but that wasn't what Verona noticed first about the boy. What she noticed first was the scar on the boy's forehead, shaped like a lightning bolt.
"Oh, my Lord," Verona whispered as she reached down, picking up the baby. "How have these horrible mortals been treating you?"
The child made a pleased noise as it reached its tiny arms out for Verona's long hair, hoping to get a new plaything.
Aleera came down the stairs, wiping her mouth.
"That baby was positively delicious," Aleera purred in satisfaction. Then, she noticed the baby in Verona's hands and immediately made her way over, an ecstatic look on her face. "Oh, he looks absolutely adorable!" she cooed, waving her finger in front of the baby, who laughed. "This is him, right? I can feel his power."
"This is him," Verona said with a nod. "Let us leave. I can feel powerful wards around this place. Someone will surely come to investigate soon."
Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Grand Sorcerer, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, defeater of the Dark Lord Grindelwald, and the only man the Dark Lord Voldemort had ever feared, could not suppress a shiver that crept up his spine as he stared at the dark, imposing castle further up the path he was on.
The castle was almost as grand as Hogwarts, but not nearly as welcoming. The grounds were littered with pikes stabbed into the ground, on which hundreds of skeletons were hanging, impaled.
Never in all his hundred and ten years of life had Dumbledore ever imagined that he would one day wander the path leading up to the imposing and terrifying Castle Dracula, once home to Count Vlad 'Tepes' Dracula...
However, the owl had come here, the owl sent to one Harry Potter, who was thought to have been lost forever. But when the post owls had been sent out, and the ancient magic of Hogwarts had deemed it necessary to send out young Harry's acceptance letter, Dumbledore was overwhelmed with curiosity, and decided to track the owl.
The owl had brought him all the way to Transylvania, where Castle Dracula stood.
When Dumbledore reached the large oak ebony doors of the castle, he reached up and grabbed the thick, black iron knocker, which was hanging from the mouth of an iron dragon head bolted to the door.
He knocked three times, then waited. Was the castle abandoned, perchance? However, if it was, why had the owl come there? And if it was truly abandoned, then why did the villagers in the small village further down the road speak with such fear of the Devil Child that lived in the castle?
Suddenly, the door slowly opened with a loud creak, and a face showed itself in the doorway. It was that of a beautiful woman, with long, black hair, and a beautiful, heart-shaped face, wearing a long, blood red silk dress. She eyed him somewhat suspiciously.
"Yes?" she spoke in Romanian, and Dumbledore cleared his throat.
"Good evening, my dear lady. I am Professor Albus Dumbledore from England," he spoke, also in Romanian.
"English?" the woman said curiously, but still staring suspiciously at Dumbledore. "What is an Englishman doing all the way out here, I wonder? Here to seek fame and fortune, are you?"
"No, actually, I am looking for someone," Dumbledore said pleasantly. "A boy, by the name of Harry Potter?"
If the woman was surprised to hear that name, she didn't show it. Instead, her eyes slowly drifted shut, and she took a deep breath, appearing thoughtful for a moment. Then, her eyes snapped open, and she nodded, stepping back and opening the door even further.
"My Lord will see you," she spoke, giving a small bow at the waist. Dumbledore bowed back, then stepped inside.
If the outside of the castle had been dreary, it was nothing compared to the inside. Dimly lit by torches in rusty brackets, Dumbledore could hardly even see anything in the castle, except for the long, scarlet carpet leading up a set of stairs. The entrance hall was shrouded in darkness, but the woman, leading Dumbledore up the stairs, maneuvered with an ease that Dumbledore couldn't match, tripping over a step here and there.
Up, up, up they went, up staircase after staircase, until finally, they reached a room that looked very much like a cathedral. It was long, the ceiling was so high that you couldn't see it in the dim lights coming from the torches on the walls, along with three chandeliers that were hanging from the dark ceiling by thick chains.
At the end of the hall stood a throne, with a backrest nearly thirty feet high. It was intricately carved, with jagged spikes and curves on it, along with many tiny details carved into the wood.
In the throne sat a young boy, with messy, jet black hair, and pale skin, wearing a pair of black leather shoes, black slacks, and a long-sleeved, red silk shirt. The boy's eyes were closed, but Dumbledore immediately recognized him by the hair as the son of James and Lily Potter.
As Dumbledore and the woman approached him, the boy's eyes slowly opened, and Dumbledore was startled to see that they were red as blood, with slits for pupils.
"My Lord," the woman said with a deep bow as they reached the throne. "Professor Albus Dumbledore from England," she introduced, and the boy nodded.
"Thank you, Verona," the boy spoke with a Romanian accent. The woman gave another bow, before retreating into the shadows, and the boy turned his attention to Dumbledore. "You have come a long way from home just to see me, Professor," he said, humming. "What brings you to my castle?"
"First, I would like to ask you a question, if it is not too rude to ignore yours?" Dumbledore said, raising a silvery eyebrow, and the boy shook his head, gesturing for Dumbledore to continue. "Are you Harry Potter?"
"Ah," the boy breathed. "That's twice in one day that I am referred to by that name, for the first time in nine years..." he whispered as he reached into his pocket, taking out an envelope. He waved it to bring Dumbledore's attention to it. "This came for me today, and it was only thanks to this that I allowed you to enter my castle. A letter of invitation to enroll at a magical school known as Hogwarts..."
Dumbledore smiled good-naturedly. "I fear, my boy, that you have failed to answer my question."
"As you have failed to answer mine, and I did pose my question first," the boy countered easily. Dumbledore chuckled.
"Yes, I suppose that is true. I am here to find one Harry James Potter, and I believe that is you."
"Then you are mistaken, Professor," the boy said coldly. "I have not gone by the name Harry Potter for nine years. I am now known as Count Harold Dracula, Lord of House Dracul."
"But you were once Harry Potter?"
"Once," the boy, Harold, admitted with a nod. "And now you are here to ask me to enroll in the school that you are apparently headmaster of?"
"Indeed so," Dumbledore said with a nod.
"Interesting..." Harold said, leaning his head against his fist, his elbow resting against the armrest of the throne. "That sounds very interesting, Professor, as I have not set foot outside this castle for a very long time... Is there any manner of dress code in this school of yours?"
"I think you will find the details in your letter, Count Dracula," Dumbledore said simply.
"Pardon me, then," Harold said as he opened the envelope and read through the contents of the letter. Dumbledore feared for the worst when he saw Harold's nose wrinkling in disgust. "What is this? Plain black robes? A pointed hat?" he asked, looking over the letter at Dumbledore. "Surely, you cannot be serious. I refuse to be seen wearing something so dreadful as robes and a pointed hat. If I cannot wear my usual clothing, I will not set foot inside this school of yours."
"But surely, Harold, you can endure for the sake of a proper magical education?" Dumbledore asked, his eyes twinkling merrily at Harold, who kept frowning.
"I said no, Professor Dumbledore," Harold said simply. "I refuse to wear your horrid clothing."
"Well..." Dumbledore hummed. He really wanted Harold at Hogwarts. It was for Harold's own good. If he wouldn't come... "I am sure I can make an exception for you, Count Dracula. I will make sure the teachers know that you are allowed to wear your own clothes, so that you will not be harassed when you arrive."
Harold raised an eyebrow, peering curiously at Dumbledore. Then, however, he nodded.
With a crack, Dumbledore appeared outside the wards of Hogwarts and made his way up the dirt path to the castle, sighing to himself. So... the rumors were true... Lily Potter had been distantly related to Vlad Tepes, and now, Harold's vampire blood had awoken...
There was no way Dumbledore could pin the crime on that woman that had shown him in, so Dumbledore wouldn't even try. He would, however, try to get Harold to see that the path of good was the path to walk in this life, vampire or not.
It was the whispers of the Devil Child that had Dumbledore concerned, though. Had Harold already started down a dark path, or was it merely superstition from the villagers?
Either way, Dumbledore would have to keep a close eye on Harold when the boy arrived at the school, and not fail like he had failed Tom.
Meanwhile, at Castle Dracula, Count Harold Dracula stood on a balcony near the top of the castle, looking over the impaled skeletons on the grounds. Although he was eleven, he looked to be closer to thirteen years of age, standing tall and proud. He leaned against the railing of the balcony and sighed.
Should he go? At times like this, he cursed the fact that his ancestors were all dead, Dracula, Alucard...
Sure, he had his four mother figures, but they weren't exactly the people he'd go to for problems such as these. They'd all tell him to go to this Hogwarts, but for reasons other than learning. Aleera would want him to go and seduce and bite beautiful females. Verona would want him to go to become even more powerful. Marishka would want him to go to have fun and be a normal boy, and finally Eleesia would want him to go to instil fear in the hearts of everyone around him like his ancestor.
Granted, those were all pretty damn good reasons to go...
"I'm not going to mumble to myself, so there's no point in listening at the door,"he spoke suddenly. He turned to see the quadruplets step out onto the balcony, all of them still wearing clothing of their favorite color.
"Thou art omnipotent, like thy ancestor," Marishka spoke, wearing a very low-cut, black dress that stopped at mid-thigh.
"It is good to see that your magic is fully merged with the wards of the castle," Aleera said, still wearing blue a blue dress, which was from the Victorian era.
"Have you decided?" Verona asked, and Harold nodded.
"Yes. I shall go to this... Hogwarts..." The very name left Harold feeling disgusted. Who named their school Hogwarts, anyway? "You will need to take me to a place called Diagon Alley. My sources inform me that one can buy magical supplies there. It's in London, England."
"Why there, my Lord?" Verona asked. "Why not some place closer to home?"
Harold slowly turned to Verona and stared coldly into her eyes.
"Because I said so, that's why."
Verona flinched and gulped, raising her hands in a defensive manner, an apologetic look on her face.
"R-Right. Forgive me, my Lord..."
Harold just hummed as he turned his back on the quadruplets, staring down at the grounds once more.
"However, I believe I shall acquire my wand a bit closer to home..."
"I sense a problem," Verona spoke as she and Harold stood in front of the barrier between platforms nine and ten. There was no nine and three-quarters anywhere in sight.
"Knowing wizards, it is no doubt hidden, but how do they expect Muggle-borns to know this?" Harold asked, sighing. He now wore a white silk shirt under his long, high-collared cloak (the same cloak his ancestor Dracula had once worn), complete with a blood red tie that matched his eyes, black slacks, and black shoes. Then, his sensitive ears picked up on a voice.
"Now, remember, Dumbledore said that Harry Potter would no doubt be clueless as to how to get to the platform, and it's our job to show it to him," came a woman's voice, which made Harold raise an eyebrow. Then, the woman's voice came again, this time louder. "And this place is packed with Muggles, of course... Now, what's the platform number?"
Harold took a look at them. The speaker was a plump woman who was talking to four boys, all with flaming red hair. Each of them was pushing a trunk in front of him, and they had an owl.
"Nine and three-quarters!" a small girl, also red-headed, piped, holding the woman's hand "Mum, can't I go...?"
"You're not old enough, Ginny, now be quiet. Alright, Percy, you go first."
"Pay close attention," Harold told Verona as they stared at the oldest boy, who marched toward platforms nine and ten. Harold watched, careful not to blink in case he missed it... but just as the boy reached the dividing barrier between the two platforms, a large crowd of tourists came swarming in front of him and Verona, and by the time the last backpack had cleared away, the boy had vanished.
"Fred, you next," the plump woman said, looking around.
"I'm not Fred, I'm George," the boy said. "Honesty, woman, you call yourself our mother? Can't you tell I'm George?"
"Sorry, George, dear."
"Only joking, I am Fred," the boy said, and off he went. His twin called after him to hurry up, and he must have done so, because a second later, he had gone... but how?
Now the third brother was walking briskly toward the barrier... he was almost there... and then, quite suddenly, he wasn't anywhere.
"A magical gateway, perhaps?" Harold muttered to Verona, who nodded. Harold hummed and walked up to the plump woman, saying, "Pardon me, madam?"
"Hello, dear," the woman said, looking relieved when she saw him. "First time at Hogwarts? Ron's new, too."
She pointed at the last and youngest of her sons. He was tall, thin, and gangling, with freckles, big hands and feet, and a long nose, not even nearly possessing the same aristocratic beauty Harold possessed.
"Madam, perchance, could you tell me-" Harold started, but was interrupted by the woman.
"How to get onto the platform?" she interrupted rudely, and Harold, instead of resorting to angrily chiding her for interrupting him, nodded. "Not to worry. All you have to do is walk straight at the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Don't stop, and don't be scared you'll crash into it, that's very important. Best do it at a bit of a run if you're nervous. Go on, go now before Ron."
"Thank you, madam. Verona."
Verona nodded, and the two of them started walking toward the barrier, Verona pushing Harold's trolley in front of her. People jostled them on their way to platforms nine and ten. As he reached the barrier, Harold slowly closed his eyes, stepping right through it. He opened his eyes again.
A scarlet steam engine was waiting next to a platform packed with people. A sign overhead said Hogwarts Express, eleven o'clock. Harold looked behind him and saw Verona passing through a wrought-iron archway where the barrier was, with the words Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on it.
Smoke from the engine drifted over the heads of the chattering crowd, while cats of every color wound here and there between their legs. Owls hooted to one another in a disgruntled sort of way over the babble and the scraping of heavy trunks.
The first few carriages were already packed with students, some hanging out of the window to talk to their families, some fighting over seats. Harold walked down the platform in search of an empty seat. He passed a round-faced boy who was saying, "Gran, I've lost my toad again."
"Oh, Neville," he heard the old woman sigh.
Harold pressed on through the crowd until he found an empty compartment near the end of the train. He and Verona lifted his trunk into the compartment, and once inside, he effortlessly lifted it up on the overhead rack, before leaning out the window.
"Verona, I'm putting you in charge until I return over the Christmas holidays," he told her, and she leaned up on her tippy-toes to kiss Harold on the cheek.
"Have fun, my Lord. Grow stronger and stronger until even the Belmonts would have a hard time against you, should there be any of them left," Verona said, smiling brightly up at Harold. With a wave, she turned and walked away, and Harold sat down, closing his eyes and tuning out the noises coming from outside.
A whistle blew, and about a minute later, the train began to move. Soon enough the platform was out of sight, and houses flashed past the window. Harold hummed to himself. He had no idea where he was going, but if need be, he could use the creatures of the night to guide him back home.
The door of the compartment slid open, and the youngest red-headed boy came in.
"Anyone sitting there?" he asked, pointing at the seat opposite Harold. "Everywhere else is full."
Harold shook his head, and the boy sat down. He glanced at Harold, and then looked quickly out the window, pretending he hadn't looked. So, he knew who Harold was, then? Someone hoping to cash in on Harold's fame? Perhaps Harry Potter, raised at the Muggles he was at until he was two would have allowed that, but not Harold Dracula, Heir to the House of Dracul!
"I'm..." the redhead started, but seemed to hesitate when Harold's blood red eyes locked with his own. "I'm Ron, by the way... Ron Weasley. N-Nice to meet you."
"Harold Dracula," Harold said, making Weasley's eyes widen.
"Oh, I thought..."
"You believed me to be Harry Potter?" Harold asked, and Wealsey's eyes widened again in surprise. "Once, perhaps, but I was taken in by a new family, and raised as the Heir to the House of Dracul. I have no connection to the name Harry Potter anymore."
"Have you really got... you know...?"
Harold pulled back his bangs to show his lightning scar. Weasley stared.
"So that's where You-Know-Who...?"
"Who? Voldemort?" Harold asked, seeing Weasley flinch in fear.
"You said his name!" Weasley hissed, and Harold raised an eyebrow curiously.
"I thought you, of all people... How can you say his name?"
"It's merely a name, and to fear it is foolish," Harold said, shaking his head. This boy was a complete mess. Robes that smelled old, big ears, hands, feet, a long nose, too many freckles, no beauty whatsoever, possessing none of Harold's grace, elegance, looks, or personality. He was horrible, in Harold's opinion.
"This family, the House of Dracul... are they magical?" Weasley asked, apparently trying to find a different subject where he wouldn't be called a fool.
"Something like that," Harold said with a smirk.
"I have an all-magical family," Weasley said, suddenly looking gloomy. "Five brothers. I'm the sixth in the family to go to Hogwarts. You could say I have a lot to live up to. Bill and Charlie have already left. Bill was head boy, and Charlie was captain of Quidditch. Now Percy's a prefect. Fred and George mess around a lot, but they still get really good mark and everyone thinks they're really funny. Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it's no big deal, because they did it first. You never get anything new, either, with five brothers. I've got Bill's old robes, Charlie's old wand, and Percy's old rat."
Weasley reached inside his jacket and pulled out a fat, gray rat, which was asleep.
"His name is Scabbers and he's useless, he hardly ever wakes up. Percy got an owl from my dad for being made a prefect, but they couldn't aff... I mean, I got Scabbers instead.
Weasley's ears went pink. He seemed to think he'd said too much, because he went back to staring out the window. Harold, however, was just staring at the rat. He felt no connection to this rat. He had a great mental bond with all the creatures of the night, bats, rats, wolves... He could sense their presence, talk to them, and command them, but he sensed nothing from this rat...
While Weasley had been talking, the train had carried them out of London. Now they were speeding past fields full of cows and sheep. They were quiet for a time, watching the fields and lanes flick past.
Around half past twelve there was a great clattering outside in the corridor, and a smiling, dimpled woman slid back their door and said, "Anything off the cart, dears?"
Harold, happy to have a distraction, rose from his seat, but Weasley's ears went pink again, and he muttered that he'd brought sandwiches. Harold went out into the corridor.
"Madam, I have heard of a treat, called blood-flavored lollipops. Have you such a treat?"
The woman smiled. "I'm sorry, dear, that's only sold in Honeydukes in Hogsmeade."
Harold nodded. "Ah well. I am sorry to have bothered you, then." And with a bow of his head, he made his way into the compartment again, where Weasley had taken out a lumpy package and unwrapped it. There were four sandwiches inside. He pulled on of them apart and said, "She always forgets I don't like corned beef."
As time passed, the countryside now flying past the window was becoming wilder. The neat fields had gone. Now there were woods, twisting rivers, and dark green hills.
There was a knock on the door of their compartment, and the round-faced boy Harold had passed on the platform came in. He looked tearful.
"Sorry," he said, "but have you seen a toad at all?"
When they shook their heads, he wailed, "I've lost him! He keeps getting away from me! Well, if you see him..."
"Don't know why he's so bothered," Weasley said. "If I'd brought a toad, I'd lose it as quick as I could. Mind you, I brought Scabbers, so I can't talk."
"Indeed," Harold said, glancing at the curious rat snoozing in Weasley's lap.
"He might have died and you wouldn't know the difference," Weasley said in disgust. "I tried to turn him yellow yesterday to make him more interesting, but the spell didn't work. I'll show you, look..."
He rummaged around in his trunk and pulled out a very battered-looking wand. It was chipped in places and something white was glinting at the end.
"Unicorn hair's nearly poking out. Anyway..."
He had just raised his wand when the compartment door slid open again. The toadless boy was back, but this time he had a girl with him. She was already wearing her new Hogwarts robes.
"Has anyone seen a toad? Neville's lost one," she said. She had a very bossy tone of voice, lots of bushy brown hair, and rather large front teeth, but there was a certain charm to her appearance that left Harold attracted to her.
"We've already told him we haven't seen it," Weasley said, but the girl wasn't listening, she was looking at the wand in his hand.
"Oh, are you doing magic? Let's see it, then."
She sat down. Weasley looked taken aback.
"Er... alright..." He cleared his throat. "Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow. Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow."
He waved his wand, but nothing happened. Scabbers stayed gray and fast asleep.
"Are you sure that's a real spell?" the girl asked. "Well, it's not very good, is it? I've tried a few simple spells just for practice, and it's all worked for me. Nobody in my family's magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it's the very best school of witchcraft there is, I've heard... I've learned all our course books by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough... I'm Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?"
She said all this very fast.
"I'm Ron Weasley," Weasley muttered.
"Count Harold Dracula, Heir to the House of Dracul," Harold introduced, taking her hand in his and kissing her knuckles. "Charmed. It's always such a pleasure to meet a fellow intellectual."
A bit of red made its way onto Hermione's face, and she looked very flattered.
"Oh..." she breathed. "S-So, what House do you think you'll be in? I've been asking around, and I hope I'm in Gryffindor, it sounds by far the best. I hear Dumbledore himself was in it, but I suppose Ravenclaw wouldn't be too bad..."
"No, it wouldn't," Harold said with a smirk, staring deeply into Hermione's eyes, making her go redder.
"W-Well, we'd better go and look for Neville's toad. You two had better change, you know, I expect we'll be there soon."
And she left, taking the toadless boy with her.
"Whatever House I'm in, I hope she's not in it," Ronald said. He threw his wand back into his trunk. "Stupid spell... George gave it to me, bet he knew it was a dud."
They lapsed into silence again, and Hermione returned within minutes, looking happy to see Harold again.
"Can we help you?" Weasley asked.
"You'd better hurry up and put your robes on, I've just been up to the front to ask the conductor, and he says we're nearly there."
"They are absolute fools if they think I will ever be caught dead wearing British-made cotton and wool clothing," Harold said simply.
"Would you mind leaving while I change?" Weasley asked, scowling at Hermione.
"Alright. I only came in here because..." Hermione cast a glance at Harold, before clearing her throat "...because people outside are behaving very childishly, racing up and down the corridors," she said in a sniffy voice. "And you've got dirt on your nose, by the way, did you know?"
Harold liked this girl.
The door to the entrance hall swung open, revealing a tall, dark-haired witch in emerald-green robes. She had a very stern face, and did not look like someone one wanted to cross.
"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," the giant Hagrid said. Although he wasn't a real giant. Harold had several of them in his castle, and they were at the very least twice as tall as Hagrid.
"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here."
She pulled the door wide. The entrance hall was so big you could have fit a whole house in it, but it wasn't as big as the entrance hall of Castle Dracula. In fact, he was sure that the entire castle and more could fit inside Castle Dracula. Having seen this disappointing entrance hall, Harold was sure he was going to be disappointed by the library, too. Although, he was impressed with how the ceiling was too high to make out, and with the magnificent marble staircase facing them, leading to the upper floors. Harold's stairs were made from onyx.
They followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor. Harold could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right, but McGonagall showed the first years into a small, empty chamber off the hall. They crowded in, standing rather closer together than they would usually have done, most of them peering about nervously.
"Welcome to Hogwarts," McGonagall said. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your Houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your House will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your House, sleep in your House dormitory, and spend free time in your House common room.
"The four Hosues are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each House has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your House points, while any rule-breaking will lose House points. At the end of the year, the House with the most points is awarded the House cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever House becomes yours.
"The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting."
Her eyes lingered for a moment on Neville's cloak, which was fastened under his left ear, and on Weasley's smudged nose.
"I shall return when we are ready for you," McGonagall said. "Please wait quietly."
Pretty much everyone around Harold were looking terrified. No one was talking much, except Hermione Granger, who was whispering very fast about all the spells she'd learned and wondering which one she'd need.
"How foolish," he whispered to himself with a light scoff. They behaved as thought they would face some sort of test, but why would anyone be stupid enough to test someone who had only just truly entered the magical world? It was just stupid to think that they would have to do anything that involved magical knowledge, and even if they would, Harold wasn't concerned. He was more than capable of handling anything they'd throw at him.
Then something happened that made several people behind him scream in fright. About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glancing at the first years. They seemed to be arguing. What looked like a fat little monk was saying, "Forgive and forget, I say, we ought to give him a second chance..."
"My dear Friar, haven't we given Peeves all the chances he deserves? He gives us all a bad name and you know, he's not really even a ghost... I say, what are you all doing here?"
A ghost wearing a ruff and tights had just noticed the first years.
"New students!" the Fat Friar said, smiling around at them. "About to the Sorted, I suppose?"
A few people nodded mutely.
"Hope to see you in Hufflepuff!" the Friar said "My old House, you know."
"Move along now," a sharp voice said. "The Sorting Ceremony's about to start."
McGonagall had returned. One by one, the ghosts floated away through the opposite wall. Harold wasn't shocked at the sight. In Castle Dracula, there were ghosts, ghouls, poltergeists, all manner of horrors.
"Now, form a line," McGonagall told the first years, "and follow me."
Harold got into line behind a sandy-haired boy, with Hermione right behind him, and they walked out of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors into the Great Hall.
Harold had to admit that he was very impressed with the Great Hall. It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting. McGonagall led the first years up here, so that they came to a halt in a line facing the other students, with the teachers behind them. The hundreds of faces staring at them looked like pale lanterns in the flickering candlelight. Dotted here and there among the students, the ghosts shone misty silver. Harold looked up and saw the thing that impressed him the most: a velvety black ceiling dotted with stars. He heard Hermione whisper, "It's bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read about it in Hogwarts: A History."
It was hard to believe that there was a ceiling there at all, and that the Great Hall didn't simply open on to the heavens.
Harold looked down again as McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of the first years. On top of the stool she put a pointed wizard's hat. This hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty.
For a few seconds, there was complete silence as everyone stared at the hat. Then, the hat twitched. A rip near the brim opened wide like a mouth, and the hat began to sing:
"Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!"
The whole hall burst into applause as the hat finished its song. It bowed to each of the four tables and then became quite still again. McGonagall now stepped forward holding a long roll of parchment.
"When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted," she said. "Abbott, Hannah!"
A pink-faced girl with blonde pigtails stumbled out of line, put on the hat, which fell right down over her eyes, and sat down. A moment's pause...
"HUFFLEPUFF!" the hat shouted.
The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit down at the Hufflepuff table. Harold saw the ghost of the Fat Friar waving merrily at her.
"HUFFLEPUFF!" the hat shouted again, and Susan scuttled off to sit next to Hannah.
The table second from the left clapped this time, and several Ravenclaws stood up to shake hands with Terry as he joined them."
"Brocklehurst, Mandy" went to Ravenclaw too, but "Brown, Lavender" became the first new Gryffindor, and the table on the far left exploded with cheers. Harold could see Weasley's twin brothers catcalling.
"Bulstrode, Millicent" then became a Slytherin. They truly looked like an unpleasant bunch. Harold smirked.
Sometimes, Harold noticed, the hat shouted the House at once, but at others it took a little while to decide. "Finnigan, Seamus," the sandy-haired bot next to Harold in the line, sat on the stool for almost a whole minute before the hat declared him a Gryffindor.
Hermione almost ran to the stool and jammed the hat eagerly on her head.
"GRYFFINDOR!" the hat shouted, and Weasley, further down the line, groaned.
When Neville Longbottom, the boy who kept losing his toad, was called, he fell over on his way to the stool. The hat took a long time to decide with Neville. When it finally shouted, "GRYFFINDOR," Neville ran off still wearing it, and had to jog back amid gales of laughter to give it to "MacDougal, Morag."
Draco Malfoy, a boy with a pale, pointed face and blond hair, swaggered forward when his name was called and the hat had barely touched his head when it screamed, "SLYTHERIN!"
Malfoy went to join his friends, looking pleased with himself.
There weren't many people left now.
"Moon"..., "Nott"..., "Parkinson"..., then a pair of twin girls, "Patil" and "Patil"..., then "Perkes, Sally-Anne"..., and then, at last...
As Harold stepped forward, whispers suddenly broke out like little hissing fires all over the hall.
"Potter, did she say?"
"The Harry Potter?"
"Dracula? The house of Vlad the Impaler?"
The last thing Harold saw before the hat dropped over his eyes was the hall full of people craning to get a good look at him. Next second, he was looking at the black inside of the hat.
"Hmm," a small voice said in his ear. "Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind, either. There's talent, and knowledge, centuries worth of it, oh my goodness, yes... and a nice thirst to prove yourself... Plenty of cunning... Where do I place you?"
Is that not something for you to decide? Harold thought, only to hear a chuckle.
"Oh, I am always interested in hearing the student's opinion."
Place me wherever, Harold thought in boredom. I do not rightly care.
"Very well. Better be... SLYTHERIN!"
Harold heard the hat shout the last word to the whole hall. He took off the hat and strode with an air of confidence toward the Slytherin table. The entire hall was quiet. Then, Draco Malfoy started clapping, followed by who Harold recognized from being Sorted earlier as Crabbe and Goyle, probably only applauding because Malfoy did so. Then, the whole Slytherin table slowly started clapping.
"Welcome to Slytherin," Malfoy said as Harold sat down next to him.
"Thank you. I am Harold Dracula," Harold said, holding out his hand, which Malfoy shook with a smirk on his face.
"Draco Malfoy. I think you will find in this school, Dracula, that there are some families that are better than others. I can help you with that."
Harold just hummed, smirking slightly.
So, what do you think of the first chapter? Drop a review and let me know!